February 15, 2016

Northern Trust Open - Course Analysis

We witnessed putting be incredibly important last week, giving Vaughn Taylor the win on clutch putts while giving Mickelson a second place finish after rimming out his last one to send it to a playoff...

That is the opposite of how important putting is this week.

At Riviera Country Club, measuring a little shorter than last year's by 20-30 yards, the 7,322 yard course is going to be a challenge primarily for those who can approach the green and get the spin and bounce they need to stop it short.

Why is that the case?

Ranking 1st in:
Lowest greens-in-regulation percentage (51.38%)
Lowest putts made within 4-8' percentage (63.67%)
Total distance of putts made (67' 9")

This course is supremely difficult from getting to the green to holing a putt even from a couple of yards.

Just for reference, Total distance of putts made averages out to making a 3'9" putt per hole for each round. That means PGA tour pros can't even make most of the six or seven footers on these greens without screwing up half the time. Insane.

Also ranking 6th in driving accuracy percentage (51.52%) and 2nd in strokes gained tee to green (-.016), getting to that point where you're taking the short stick is hard enough. A course like this mimics some of the difficult scoring conditions we saw from courses like Firestone CC, East Lake GC, and Augusta (we know who won the last 2 tournaments).

Coming up tomorrow will be a breakdown of the top 10 players to target at Riviera.

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